Migrants in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) have been seen surging onto a railway line in the southern town of Gevgelia, desperate to board a train to the Serbian border.
Over a thousand people – some travelling with children – tried to squeeze onto the train in what appeared to be a case of survival of the fittest.
The group was made up mainly of Syrians, attempting to reach the network of Schengen countries, which offer the freedom to travel without having to show papers.
“Busiest irregular passage to EU”
FYROM has become a major transit route for people from the Middle East and Africa who cross over from Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria before heading West into more prosperous European countries.
According to a recent Amnesty International report, the route through the western Balkans has overtaken the Mediterranean route to become the “busiest irregular passage to the EU.”
It says: “Serbia and Macedonia have become a sink for the overflow of refugees and migrants that nobody in the EU seems willing to receive.”
Since 2010, the number of people caught trying to cross the Serbia-Hungary border has reportedly increased by a whopping 2,500 percent (from 2,370 to 60,602).